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Hold up in Pistons-Nets-Nuggets trade involving Carmelo Anthony might be for filling New Jersey’s roster, not matching salaries under cap rules

Al Iannazzone of The Record has the latest on a Pistons-Nets-Nuggets trade involving Carmelo Anthony:

The Nets would send Devin Harris, rookie power forward Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, Stephen Graham, Ben Uzoh and at least two first-round picks to Denver and Troy Murphy, Johan Petro and Quinton Ross to Detroit. The Nets also would receive big man Sheldon Williams from Denver and guard Terrico White from Detroit. Additional players would change teams to make the salaries match.

Great reporting from Iannazzone, but he’s missing one detail: the salaries match. The exact trade he outlines works under the NBA’s salary-cap rules. The issue I see is the number of players.

  • The Nets trade eight players and acquire five, dropping their roster to 11.
  • The Pistons trade two players and acquire three, increasing their roster to 16 – one above the limit.
  • The Nuggets trade three players and acquire five, also increasing their roster to 16.

So, the Nuggets will probably trade some combination of their lower-priced reserves – Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Melvin Ely – to the Nets, so New Jersey can fill out its roster.

If the Pistons take Petro, they probably wouldn’t want to pay Chris Wilcox, who has a $3 million expiring contract, for the rest of the season. He could go to either team, but I think the Nuggets make more sense. Detroit could always cut DaJuan Summers, but maybe the Nets would want him to fill their roster.

For the the Nets to acquire additional players not on minimum contracts – Summers, Carter and Ely have minimum deals; Balkman doesn’t – New Jersey would have to shed more salary. The Nets could add Kris Humphries or Jordan Farmar to the deal or trade Sasha Vujacic in a technically separate deal (because he was recently traded, New Jersey can’t package him with other players).

Obviously having the incoming and outgoing salaries for each team match – within 125% plus $100,000 – is delicate and could be disrupted by adding any players not on minimum contracts. But as constructed, this deal technically works.

Of course, there’s the small matter of the draft picks…


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  • Jan 9, 20115:20 pm
    by Nelson


    For some reason i really don’t want to see Terrico go. It seems rather short-sighted to trade a rookie of whom we have gauged next to nothing of his capacity to contribute and potential. Then again, that could just be potential highlight-reel infatuation but trading young talent and possibly draft picks purely to get rid of Hamilton seems a bit overboard.

  • Jan 9, 20115:25 pm
    by Nick


    Joe D needs to pull the trigger, especially is they don’t have to surrender a 1st round pick, which seems to be the case now. We can take Petro’s contract; its not that bad and he’s a young, decent player.

  • Jan 9, 20116:05 pm
    by Laser


    as long as we don’t have to trade that pick, terrico is a very small price to pay for a rip for petro and murphy swap. i’d throw in summers in a heartbeat too. i like those kids, but young talent is what you have to give up to unload a contract like rip’s. just not a lottery pick.
    also i read chauncey would demand a buyout if traded from denver. but that doesn’t seem much like chauncey to me. who knows?

  • Jan 9, 20116:18 pm
    by neutes


    Petro kinda sucks. This is really a so-so deal, but that’s about what to expect. I didn’t think moving Rip was possible, but now it seems at least somewhat likely. If we do end up giving up a pick we kinda got taken to the woodshed, but the Knicks had to do it to get out of the Isiah Thomas era, and they’ve recovered.
    I don’t know about the Billups deal. He did make it back to his hometown so leaving probably won’t sit too well with him. Of course he’d have Melo and Rip along for the ride so it doesn’t seem that bad for him.

  • Jan 9, 20117:04 pm
    by Jacob


    Let me just play devil’s advocate for a minute. It seems like everyone is attached to the 2011 first round draft pick which we have no idea at this point where that pick would land, who would be available, and even then the middle of the lottery is such a crapshoot that there is no telling if that unknown player would even make an impact. Plus, if we unload Rip that is addition by subtraction – the rotation tightens up, the team has a chance to improve, finish the season better, thereby making the draft pick less valuable. I understand the logic – coveting young talent, and there are going to be some promising big men available, but I guess the question is, “is it worth holding on to Rip and his contract just to have that draft pick?” I’m not sure what the answer is, let me know your thoughts. I honestly would rather trade BG than Rip and have Stuckey play more SG and get Will Bynum back into the rotation. But everyone else here seems to want to trade Rip – unless it comes at the expense of the 2011 first round pick.

  • Jan 9, 20117:22 pm
    by gmehl1977


    One thing that annoys me a lot is that WE were supposed to be the team that got to see Carmello, Rip and Billups play together. I know it is all in the past and the way history played out but it is still annoying.

  • Jan 9, 20117:49 pm
    by Vince


    I’d honestly rather not see Terrico leave Detroit, after what I’ve seen from him in college and summer league I think he has great potential going forward, I would rather we send DaJuan, Wilcox, Rip and a second round pick or our first round pick – lottery protected of course – instead. And honestly I value Rip more than BG right now, they’re both playing terribly but Rip is at least more consistent, but getting Petro and Murphy is definitely an upgrade.

    On another note if this trade doesn’t go down, we should send BG and DaJuan to Sacramento for Jason Thompson, as well as Villanueva and Wilcox to the Nets for Murphy and Morrow, that would be my dream come true if that were to go down.

  • Jan 9, 20117:56 pm
    by Vince


    Actually nevermind, aparently Joe doesn’t want to take Petro or give up any picks at all ==”

    From ESPN:
    “Yet sources said one of the remaining potential snags is New Jersey’s insistence that the Pistons absorb the contract of Petro.
    The Pistons do not want to take back Petro, even though shedding Hamilton’s contract in exchange for Murphy and the Nets center would represent an overall savings of roughly $17 million.
    Sources say Detroit’s stance on Petro has prompted New Jersey to begin looking for a fourth team that might be willing to take on the 24-year-old big man.”

  • Jan 9, 20118:10 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @ Nelson and Vince:

    I agree with you to an extent — White had first round talent and he’s an intriguing prospect because of his athleticism. But at the end of the day, he fell out of the first round for a reason. He could turn into a good player, but it’s a small price to pay for the flexibility moving Rip for an expiring deal will bring.

    Also, as for Vince’s point about rather sending Summers or Wilcox, Wilcox wouldn’t work for money reasons and there’s probably a reason NJ is asking for White over Summers — more updside.

  • Jan 9, 20118:11 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    “We can take Petro’s contract; its not that bad and he’s a young, decent player.”

    Petro’s actually not decent. He’s pretty bad. But his contract isn’t so bad — $3.5ish a year for a fourth or fifth big is about the same as Kwame Brown and Chris Wilcox were paid to fill that same role.

  • Jan 9, 20118:13 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    “also i read chauncey would demand a buyout if traded from denver. but that doesn’t seem much like chauncey to me. who knows?”

    He’s very happy in Denver and wants to retire there and work for the team. Remember, McDyess asked for a buyout in Denver and he didn’t seem like the type of guy who would do that either.

  • Jan 9, 20118:15 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    “This is really a so-so deal, but that’s about what to expect.”

    Not if the Pistons also get a first rounder for taking Petro. I’d do that in a second.

  • Jan 9, 20118:18 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    “I guess the question is, “is it worth holding on to Rip and his contract just to have that draft pick?””

    Yes. Hamilton’s contract is bad. But as we’ve seen with Rashard Lewis, Gil, Turkoglu getting traded already this offseason, it’s not impossible to rid yourself of a bad contract. Getting an expiring for Rip is huge, but the Pistons need you talent desperately right now. Hamilton makes the roster unbalanced and they’ll probably never be competitive with both he and Gordon on the team, but it’s not worth giving up a future asset and potential lottery pick just to get rid of him if they are not getting an asset (in the form of a pick or young player) back in return.

  • Jan 9, 20118:20 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    “we should send BG and DaJuan to Sacramento for Jason Thompson”

    Won’t work financially. Detroit would have to take another contract back in return so salaries match, even if the Kings were interested in something like that, which they probably wouldn’t be since they haven’t decided if Tyreke Evans is their future 1 or 2.

  • Jan 9, 20118:45 pm
    by Vince



    I get why NJ would want White, its just that I value him as of equal value as some of the guards that were taken much earlier, maybe I am overvaluing him but I can see he has alot to give, and I’d be dissapointed to see him go, especially if he becomes a good player.

    And about the BG and Dajuan trade, everything works out fine on ESPN’s trade machine, but yeah, I can see where it lacks, I still wouldn’t mind seeing Thompson in a Pistons uniform.

  • Jan 9, 20119:15 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    you’re right, my fault. Sacramento has the cap space to absorb that big a salary difference apparently. Just not sure they’d want to use all of it on Gordon. They’ve long been looking for a small forward though.

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